PDA

View Full Version : Eclectic vs. Freethinking? Is there a difference?



crunchynerd
03-04-2012, 08:37 PM
Just saw up there on the title bar, the categories of eclectic, freethinking, and nonreligious. What is the difference between eclectic and freethinking, or is there one?

dbmamaz
03-04-2012, 09:05 PM
Hmm, not sure what title bar. But freethinking usually is code for atheist, but also seems to be code for ayn rand followers. Non-religious can just mean a curriculum which isnt religiously based.

eclectic means you dont follow any specific educational philosophy (such as classical, unschooling, unit study, charlotte mason, Montessori, ect) but you do what works for you, sometimes approaching different subjects with different methods. The original definition I saw (at homeschooldiner.com, i think) suggested that eclectic often used curriculum for math, unit studies for science, living books for history, and . . . i dont remember language arts.

however, i saw someone else define eclectic as unschooling. I didnt understand why. Except that for SOME people, unschooling just means not using a school or an all-in-one curriculum.

I wrote a long anguished post to one of my yahoo groups asking "what am I?!" and someone said I do Cara Homeschooling style. In the end, the labels are labels, and what other people do is interesting data, but you will find what works for you and yours, whatever you call it

crunchynerd
03-04-2012, 09:40 PM
Thanks, Cara!
The bar I mentioned, was actually just text, which is the slogan right under "Where Secular Homeschoolers ARE the Majority!" where it mentions the three types. I feel I get it better now. I have seen that there is debate about what constitutes unschooling, and I have begun to feel a bit cautious in using the term or even discussing the differences it seems everyone has an opinion on, between what some of us feel is unschooling (a la Holt) and others insist isn't radical enough (as in, if we have meals, bedtimes, rules and consequences, we can't be unschoolers). I get really opposite reactions from different individuals, some of whom are self-declared unschoolers who call the radicals unparenters rather than unschoolers, whereas the radicals call the other group, homeschoolers rather than unschoolers.

I would stick to the term Homeschooler out of convenience and a way to sidestep that tangled debate about who can and cannot call themselves unschoolers, except that 1) it perpetuates society's tendency to believe that homeschooling is somehow just a copy, or an altered form, of school, and 2) the most common question to follow me saying "homeschooler" is "What curriculum do you use?" and we don't use curricula.

I sometimes wish I could just hand everyone a card that says we are acolytes of the Giant Spaghetti Monster and are currently undertaking vows of silence. Seriously.

But I do appreciate your explanation. What would people think if we called ourselves eclectic unschoolers? As in, not doing curricula, not doing formal lessons of any type except sporadically and as it seems helpful, picking and choosing what we need and want, and unafraid to discover as we go along, and to change? Or would that just make it clear as mud, instead of being helpful? Back to the Acolytes of the Great Spaghetti Monster idea....;)

crunchynerd
03-04-2012, 09:46 PM
Thanks, Cara!
The bar I mentioned, was actually just text, which is the slogan right under "Where Secular Homeschoolers ARE the Majority!" where it mentions the three types. I feel I get it better now. I have seen that there is debate about what constitutes unschooling, and I have begun to feel a bit cautious in using the term or even discussing the differences.

I would stick to the term Homeschooler out of convenience and a way to sidestep that tangled debate about who can and cannot call themselves unschoolers, except that 1) it perpetuates society's tendency to believe that homeschooling is somehow just a copy, or an altered form, of school, and 2) the most common question when I say we Homeschool is "What curriculum do you use?" and we don't use curricula.

I sometimes wish I could just hand everyone a card that says we are acolytes of the Giant Spaghetti Monster and are currently undertaking vows of silence. Seriously. Dogs have it so easy. All they have to do is sniff hineys.

crunchynerd
03-04-2012, 09:47 PM
the editing function isn't doing what I expected...

dbmamaz
03-04-2012, 10:59 PM
LOL we should report that - there was a major upgrade this weekend and it appears to have been a bit buggy!

I hadnt seen that line - i think that was also added this weekend.

I wonder if 'classical unschooling' would be even muddier - i mean, the original def of unschooling - john holt - could be 'classical unschooling' and then ppl try to figure out how you can be a classical homeschooler and an unschooler. brilliant!

findemerson
03-05-2012, 01:53 AM
Well, I don't put too much into labels, either. Personally, I'm all of it--I'm secular. I'm non-religious. I'm a homeschooler. I use various methods to teach my children a variety of subjects; therefore, eclectic. And I'm a freethinker--especially going by this guy's definition:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/freethinkers.htm

Ayn Rand would be a freethinker, too, I suppose--pioneering Objectivism; but I think that would make her followers Objectivists and I certainly would not think of her (exclusively) when hearing the term given the vast amount of freethinkers before she ever existed, really.

I think the advertising purpose of the banner was: eclectic meaning those that choose more than one method, freethinking meaning those that reject dogma, non-religious meaning those that teach without religion. The option to choose them makes sense considering that you can be non-religious and not be eclectic with your choices of homeschool, for example. Plus, there are some here that go to church and worship some (those that are religious but not Christian have a hard time finding a home, too) but choose to teach secular. My MIL is the most devout Christian I know but seemed relieved when she found out that I didn't want to teach creationism. Perhaps its her 40 years in the Public School System but even she thinks that religion and schooling are not synonyms. They are not the only Christians who think this way either---I should know, given my poorly chosen location amidst the bible belt. A relative works at the Christian Preschool and they don't mind reading about the Dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago...

Anyway-- I wanted to say I liked the Acolytes of the Great Spaghetti Monster idea :) It doesn't come up around here. I'd probably say that I'm an Individual Homeschooler if it were pushed though--and if they asked what that meant--I'd say "oh, it means we just do what works for us without all those silly labels...." just as casually as I could.

CrazyCatLady
03-05-2012, 06:15 AM
Oh reading this makes me feel like I've just come home! I wound up here tonight although I haven't been here for ages, because I was struggling with EXACTLY this:


I have seen that there is debate about what constitutes unschooling, and I have begun to feel a bit cautious in using the term or even discussing the differences.

I would stick to the term Homeschooler out of convenience and a way to sidestep that tangled debate about who can and cannot call themselves unschoolers, except that 1) it perpetuates society's tendency to believe that homeschooling is somehow just a copy, or an altered form, of school, and 2) the most common question when I say we Homeschool is "What curriculum do you use?" and we don't use curricula.

I, too am ready to vow my allegence to the Giant Spaghetti Monster. Do we have a secret handshake or something ;)

TeachingStars
03-05-2012, 08:56 AM
I, too am ready to vow my allegence to the Giant Spaghetti Monster. Do we have a secret handshake or something ;)

If there is I'm assuming it would be a rather "limp noodle" type of shake. :D:

CrazyCatLady
03-06-2012, 01:34 AM
If there is I'm assuming it would be a rather "limp noodle" type of shake. :D:

:_lol:

Yep!

Topsy
03-06-2012, 05:52 AM
Hmm, not sure what title bar. But freethinking usually is code for atheist, but also seems to be code for ayn rand followers. Non-religious can just mean a curriculum which isnt religiously based.

eclectic means you dont follow any specific educational philosophy (such as classical, unschooling, unit study, charlotte mason, Montessori, ect) but you do what works for you, sometimes approaching different subjects with different methods. The original definition I saw (at homeschooldiner.com, i think) suggested that eclectic often used curriculum for math, unit studies for science, living books for history, and . . . i dont remember language arts.

however, i saw someone else define eclectic as unschooling. I didnt understand why. Except that for SOME people, unschooling just means not using a school or an all-in-one curriculum.

I wrote a long anguished post to one of my yahoo groups asking "what am I?!" and someone said I do Cara Homeschooling style. In the end, the labels are labels, and what other people do is interesting data, but you will find what works for you and yours, whatever you call it

Loved your explanation, Cara! Those were pretty much the categories we were all trying to cover when deciding the new tagline...although now I'm definitely wishing I had gone with "acolytes of the Giant Spaghetti Monster"...hindsight and all. :grin:

crunchynerd
03-07-2012, 10:27 AM
haha, like!

mratts
03-07-2012, 10:47 AM
Lol - my brother has a tattoo of the flying spagfetti monster - a branded pastafarian! All of our cars are "branded" too ;)

I think of myself as all those things - eclectic (because while my son does written work assigned by me daily, we don't use a curriculum or follow anyone else's idea of a scope or sequence, though we also try lots of field trips and child-led topics); freethinking (an atheist in the deep south - certainly not going with the flow); non-religious homeschooler. And it's so nice to find an accepting home!